Did you know that the MZUSP Mollusk Collection is the largest of its kind in Latin America? It’s a treasure trove with over 165,000 lots and a whopping one and a half million specimens. These remarkable specimens come from all around the world, but they particularly shine a spotlight on the Neotropical region and the West Atlantic coast.
What’s even more fascinating is that this collection houses over 1,300 type specimens, which are like the “gold standard” for identifying different species of mollusks.
The MZUSP Mollusk Collection keeps growing as it welcomes new collections and research projects, often through purchases or exchanges. This constant expansion makes the collection increasingly significant in the global world of Malacology, the science of studying mollusks.
Here’s a cool tidbit: about two-thirds of the specimens are kept in a special “wet” process, safely stored in unique bottles within sliding cabinets. If you’re curious to learn more or explore this amazing world of mollusks, the curator maintains a website where you can find information about mollusks and even download research papers at
For those who want to dive even deeper, you can also access past issues of “MALACOPEDIA,” a magazine that delves into fascinating topics about mollusks and Malacology. You’ll find these issues for download at

Its oldest lots date back to the 1880s, part of the collection that Ihering brought from Europe, with about 2,000 pieces. From that time to the present day, the collection has gradually grown, raising many studies from Brazilian and foreign researchers. Besides Ihering himself, Frederico Lange de Morretes (1930s), and Eveline and Ernest Marcus (1950s) acted as this collection’s curators, but it was with the hiring of a specific Mollusca curator in the 1960s that the collection underwent a major increase and organization, Dr. José Luiz Moreira Leme and, later, Dr. Lícia Penna-Neme.

Besides Dr. Leme, several researchers have worked intensively on the Collection, being its own students, or visitors, increasing it in specimens and data. After Dr. Leme’s retirement, Dr. Luiz Ricardo L. Simone became the curator responsible for the collection. In the last decade the Molluscs collection has increased its numbers from 36,000 lots to the current figure, and is now fully computerized.

Morphology, Paleontology, Systematics, and Evolution of Mollusca
Prof. Dr. Luiz Ricardo Lopes de Simone
Phone: (55) (11) 2065-8129

Simone Lira da Cruz

Isac Balbino da Silva

Phone: (11) 2065-8129

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